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Cybersecurity: 10 Tips to Help Prevent Ransomware Attacks

Nov. 23, 2016

Falling prey to ransomware is unfortunate and frustrating. If you do fall victim to an attack, the FBI recommends not paying a ransom in response to a ransomware attack. Paying a ransom doesn’t guarantee an organization will get its data back. What reason do the cyber terrorists have for returning the information?

What's the best thing you can do to fight off ransomware attacks?

Prevention

10 tips to help prevent ransomware attacks

  1. The ABA wrote in an article, the top 10 best practices to protect law firms from cyberattacks, the #1 best practice is to "Maintain cyber liability insurance."
  2. Make sure employees are aware of ransomware and of their critical roles in protecting the organization’s data
  3. Patch operating system, software, and firmware on digital devices (which may be made easier through a centralized patch management system)
  4. Ensure antivirus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and conduct regular scans.
  5. Manage the use of privileged accounts—no users should be assigned administrative access unless absolutely needed, and only use administrator accounts when necessary
  6. Configure access controls, including file, directory, and network share permissions appropriately. If users only need to view specific information then don’t give them write-access to those files or directories
  7. Disable macro scripts from office files transmitted over e-mail
  8. Implement software restriction policies or other controls to prevent programs from executing from common ransomware locations (e.g., temporary folders supporting popular Internet browsers, compression/decompression programs)
  9. Back up data regularly and verify the integrity of those backups regularly
  10. Secure your backups. Make sure they aren’t connected to the computers and networks they are backing up.

Author

Cindy Wiedman, LiabilityPro Insurance Advisors, President

Cindy Wiedman, founded Wiedman Insurance Services, LLC (LiabilityPro Insurance Advisors*) August 1, 2014. Cindy is a Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU) and has designed and administered professional liability insurance programs over a 35-year career working for various insurance administrators in the Midwest such as Shand Morahan & Company, Kirke Van Orsdel, Marsh and Lockton Affinity.

*Currently working with investment advisory businesses domiciled in Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois and Nebraska.

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